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Criminal Defense Attorneys

Statutory Rape, San Fernando, Reduced to Misdemeanor

In February 2016, our client, then age 33, was arrested by the Burbank Police Department on suspicion of violating Penal Code §§ 261.5(c) (statutory rape of a minor more than three years younger than defendant), 286(b)(1) (sodomy with a person under 18 years old), 261(a)(2) (rape using force, threats or duress) and 286(c)(2)(a) (sodomy by force, violence, duress, menace or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury to the victim or another person).

The arrest arose after our client met a woman on an adult dating website who represented herself as an adult.  Our client met with her, but did not like her.  He did not think she was very attractive and did not like her personality.  

He then declined to meet with her further and she responded by contacting the police to claim she was a sexual assault victim.  The woman had told our client that she had met with a few other men that she had also met on the dating site, who she boasted were her “Sugar Daddies,” implying they were lonely, wealthy and foolish enough to shower her with free dinners, vacations, shopping sprees and other financial benefits in exchange for her company.

As our client learned later, she had also told the police that several of these men also committed the same offenses with her.

A case against our client for the above charges was then filed in the San Fernando Superior Court.

More than eighteen months after being arrested, in August 2017, our client, then 34 years old, entered into a no contest plea bargain to a charge of violating Penal Code § 261.5(c).  All other charges were dismissed.  The client was represented by the public defender in this nightmare.

The terms of the plea bargain were that our client was sentenced to five years of formal probation on the following terms and conditions: serve 365 days in county jail (credit for eight days in custody, four days actual custody and four days good time / work time) and payment of restitution to the victim.  No restitution was sought.

Our client then complied all terms and conditions of probation and the judge graciously ended his probation early in November 2021.
Our client then moved to North Carolina for a fresh start.  He had previously worked within the film industry (for seventeen years), but it was hard getting a similar job in North Carolina.  It was also difficult renting his own apartment in North Carolina with a felony criminal history for raping a minor and being more than three years older than the victim.  

He then called Greg Hill & Associates about having the felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor and then expunged.  He described the facts of the case that led to his conviction and how having this felony conviction on his background was causing him immense difficulties in North Carolina.

Greg first and foremost explained that Penal Code § 261.5(c) is indeed a wobbler, so it is possible to have a judge order that the conviction be reclassified as a misdemeanor under Penal Code § 17(b)(3).  Greg also explained that expungement does not erase, delete or remove the entry on one’s Livescan that the case was filed and then resolved as a misdemeanor, if the motion to reduce the charge is granted, but it will show the case resolved with a dismissal and under California Penal Code § 1203.4, he would thereafter be legally allowed to represent (with some exceptions) that he was never convicted of statutory rape of a minor more than three years younger than him in this particular case.  This could have benefits for employment and renting an apartment.

The client then hired Greg Hill & Associates and our office prepared, filed and served the motion for reclassification of the felony 261.5(c) conviction as a misdemeanor.  We also filed for expungement of the conviction.  This was filed in the San Fernando Superior Court.

About three months after the motion was filed, the judge assigned to the case granted both the motion to reclassify the case as a misdemeanor and expungement.  The client was extremely happy with this result.

For more information about Penal Code § 17(b)(3) and expungement, please click on the following articles:
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"Thank you so much for putting so much effort in this case. We really appreciate it and we are happy that all turned out well." S.A., Torrance
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